Super Sentai is one of the longest running tokusatsu series in Japan, and it is the second longest tokusatsu series produced by Toei. The series has been airing in Japan for 46 years, and is better known in America for its adaptation as Power Rangers. The series is known for colorful heroic teams clothed in spandex fighting terrorists, aliens, demons, and inter-dimensional entities. However, its defining feature is the use of mecha that form giant robots, or as they are referred to in the states as Zords and Megazords.
Super Sentai mecha range in a variety of themes like vehicles, animals, dinosaurs, mythical creatures, human-like figures, and ultimately as hybrids of all categories. In addition, when transitioning to the product line, the mecha become usually the most sought-after items. The Deluxe mecha, shortened to DX mecha, are commonly what interests most fans and collectors. However, they are normally expensive even at retail, with their prices soaring upwards on the after-market once a series ends.
Yet, there is an alternate option for fans, but this option doubles as a model kit; that option being the Mini-Pla line. Now, Mini-Pla has been an alternative way to collect mecha for decades in Japan, but often was seen as a cheaper product. However, in the past two decades, Mini-Pla has become just as loved as the DX line for their affordable prices, and its inclusion of articulated joints. With Mini-Pla’s rise in popularity, Bandai finally decided to invest in a collectors’ sub-line, and thus Super Mini-Pla was born. Yet, with the line’s success, a possible rebrand is occurring that is referred to as the Shokugan Series. Currently, it has not been clarified if it is a rebrand, or a new subline for Super Sentai. Nevertheless, we will provide more details on the rebranding situation once the information becomes available to the public.
Now, we are going to be discussing our Top 10 choices of mecha to be produced as models, regardless of the brand name. However, we will opt to use Super Mini-Pla until everything is finalized, as it is the commonly known name. Anyway, this list will feature choices from Himitsu Sentai Gorenger to Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger. Whereas, selections on the list will either consist of an individual mecha, pairings, or an entire series line-up. Furthermore, we are featuring Gorenger to Gaoranger because we do not think series past Gaoranger should be seen as a priority for Bandai. Our reasoning is because the current format for the basic Mini-Pla line is due to advancements during Hurricaneger to the present. As a result, mecha lines from the past 20 years should be phased in slower than pre-25th anniversary installments. Nevertheless, we have several giant robots and vehicles to discuss, so let us begin…
10. Battle Shark & Battle Fever Robo (Battle Fever J)
To start us off, we must begin with the very first giant robo in Super Sentai, that obviously being Battle Fever J’s Battle Fever Robo. However, since Battle Fever J’s giant robo does not transform, we thought if it was produced that it should have more to it. To begin, Bandai could boost this release by including the Battle Shark; for those unaware, it is the battleship/ carrier for the mecha. Having the two items paired together would make the release rewarding for customers, but the set could end up being rather costly. Its cost increase would surely be due to how other Super Sentai carrier mecha in the Super Mini-Pla line are Premium Bandai exclusives. Yet, there might be ways around this issue since Battle Shark is more like a shell, similar to Mobile Suit Gundam’s G-Armor.
Whereas, another way to warrant a standalone Battle Fever Robo release would be to give it all of its weapons. We have seen Bandai do similar Super Mini-Pla releases with other robots from various anime series. In addition, Bandai managed to do this for some of the Super Sentai releases like Sun Vulcan’s Sun Vulcan Robo and Jetman’s Jet Icarus. Furthermore, it could include an accessory holder/ display base similar to the previously released Soul of Chogokin figure. Nevertheless, Super Sentai’s first giant robo should not be overlooked for its flashier, transforming and combining brethren.
9. Mega Voyager & Mega Winger (Denji Sentai Megaranger)
Known in America for keeping their names when adapted for Power Rangers In Space, these two mecha are obvious choices to be added to the Super Mini-Pla line; especially since Bandai previously released Megaranger’s Galaxy Mega (Astro Megazord) and Delta Mega (Delta Megazord). Now, the previous two were sold as a set in Japan and were made available for purchase in North America. However, during the original run for the Galaxy Mega/ Delta Mega set in Japan, Bandai completely overlooked both the Mega Voyager and Mega Winger. Whereas, previous Super Sentai releases like Liveman, Zyuranger (MMPR Season 1), and Kakuranger (MMPR Season 3/ Alien Rangers) featured everything within the show.
With these two being skipped, fans have been left confused as to why Megaranger’s line-up has not been completed. Some fans think the reason that Mega Voyager has been skipped is due to its engineering, because its combination process could provide various issues for articulation and stability. Whereas, others think that the original deluxe toys are too fragile for Bandai to use as a visual and physical example for the development process. Then as for the Mega Winger, while it is a nice standalone Sixth Ranger mecha, its fan following is due to its wings becoming a jetpack for Mega Voyager. So, if these two are to join the Super Mini-Pla line one day, maybe Bandai should provide them as a set, and essentially it will kill two birds with one stone.
8. Sky Ace (J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai)
Our eighth pick is from the second Super Sentai series, J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai, and it is the team’s signature mecha, Sky Ace. Now, Sky Ace is an unconventional mecha by today’s standards, as it is nothing more than a large weaponized jet. The mecha itself does not transform into a giant robot, similar to its predecessors in Himitsu Sentai Gorenger. However, the jet is very popular among fans in Japan. If this mecha was to join the Super Mini-Pla line, it would be rather easy to produce since it is a jet fighter. Yet, to expand on the set to make it a worthy collectors’ item, Bandai could take cues from some of their anime releases and Super Mini-Pla Leopardon.
To begin, Sky Ace’s release could include various miniatures based on characters, vehicles, and props seen in the series. The miniature vehicles would either be the JAKQ vehicles, or a sub-kit that when assembled would form the Jack Tank. Whereas, the miniature characters would be the JAKQ team alongside their transformation device, the Powered Capsules. Then other accessories could include effect parts for its weaponry and propulsion, as well as a display stage. Nevertheless, a new product based the Sky Ace needs to be released, as its most recent product was in late 2013. Also, a Super Mini-Pla Sky Ace would be rather rewarding during Kikai Sentai Zenkagier’s celebration of the series’ 45th anniversary.
7. Dora Talos (Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger)
If Choudenshi Bioman’s Anti-Bio Union antithesis to Bio Robo, Balzion, can be produced as a Super Mini-Pla, then by all means Dora Talos can be too. For those unaware, Dora Talos is the true final boss within Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, a mecha created and piloted by Bandora’s son Kai. It was ultimately upgraded when the true villain, Dai Satan fused itself with the mecha. Whereas, for fans of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, they should recognize this as Goldar’s Megazord, Cyclopsis; Kai is omitted from Power Rangers, but the robot still fuses with Dai Satan’s counterpart, Lokar.
Now, having this added to the line would compliment the pre-existing Zyuranger sets, and give Bandai a reason to reissue them. In addition, if this was produced as a Super Mini-Pla following Balzion, it could help Bandai indicate if there is a market for villainous mecha. As a result, we could other villainous mecha slip in from either tokusatsu or anime. Furthermore, if Bandai and Hasbro can come to an agreement to release Super Mini-Pla in North America again, Power Rangers fans would clamor for it. The reason is because Cyclopsis is having a resurgence in popularity due to its appearances in games and comics. So, even if there is not a market for it in Japan, Bandai could count on America to cover its losses.
6. Great Five Robo (Hikari Sentai Maskman)
When this article was in development, the number six slot was reserved to Bio Robo from Choudenshi Bioman. Now, even with it being made official, not making it into our top five probably still enrages several Bioman fans residing in the Philippines. However, our problem was only two of our staff members actually saw series in its entirety. Nevertheless, let us talk about what currently is sixth place, and what was promoted to this spot, Great Five Robo!
Ironically, a majority of our staff has also never seen or completed Hikari Sentai Maskman. Yet, our staff is overly enamored with the mecha from the clips or episodes we have seen. Other interests in it, peak from either owning the original deluxe toy, or its various knockoffs. Somehow this mecha’s design is just overly alluring, and beacons people to purchase one of its various incarnations. Some people suggest fans are drawn to its Armored Fleet Dairugger XV-like design for its vehicle assortment, combined robot mode, and color scheme. Yet, that statement is debatable within the fandom. Nevertheless, it is one we hope to see in the future!
5. Victory Mars (Kyukyu Sentai GoGoFive)
At the time of this article’s conception, this choice was meant to be for everything featured in Kyukyu Sentai GoGoFive. However, as this list set on the backburner, most of our wishes became a reality. Yet, we hope GoGoFive does not get treated like Megaranger, as seen with Number 9 on the list. Currently, Bandai has released Victory Robo, Grand Liner, and LinerBoy. Whereas, the Sigma Project is the most recent release via Premium Bandai. So, that leaves us with only Victory Mars a.k.a. Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue’s Omega Megazord remaining!
Now, a Super Mini-Pla Victory Mars release maybe a topic that Bandai is currently contemplating. The issue that Bandai is probably having though is how to reasonably release it. With most of the other GoGoFive mechas being exclusives, Bandai most likely will continue this trend. However, with Bandai currently expand into Bioman, Victory Mars maybe cast aside. Yet, if Bandai wants to further capitalize on the 20th anniversary of GoGoFive, they might as well finish the series line-up. Also, skipping over this internationally fan favorite would be a very dumb decision for Bandai. Then again this is the company trying to sell a CSM Cell Medal set…
4. Variblune & Varidorin (Himitsu Sentai Gorenger)
Having Sky Ace as our eighth pick foreshadowed that the mecha from Himitsu Sentai Gorenger would be here too. Both the Variblune and Varidorin, Sky Ace’s predecessors, need to be a part of this line, as they started it all. However, international fans may argue that they are not as iconic as the giant robos, but for the home audience they are legendary. Like we mentioned with Sky Ace, these items could be released with miniatures of the various Gorenger Machines, Varitank, and Varikikyun.
Now, Variblune would obviously be the first to have a release in Super Mini-Pla format. Having appeared for half of Gorenger’s span, the Super Mini-Pla Variblune would only contain the Gorenger Machines, Machine Cycles. However, the set could also include an adaptor for Gokai-Oh to form Goren Gokai-Oh, if we possibly get that far. Whereas, a Super Mini-Pla Varikikyun would include the other vehicles as its accessories. This would include the New Gorenger Machines, the Gorengers’ newer and updated Star Cycles.
Ultimately these are essential vessels that should acquire modern merchandise. Most previous products for these mecha are out of production, and their secondary market prices are heavily inflated. This is due to their legendary status, and the higher demand for products from more vintage installments in the franchise. With the 45th anniversary occurring this year, hopefully Bandai will capitalize on the opportunity to market Gorenger towards older fans.
3. RV Robo (Gekisou Sentai Carranger)
Taking third place is RV Robo from Gekisou Sentai Carranger, better known in America as the Turbo Megazord. Now, RV Robo brought several kids joy worldwide in its original deluxe toy form. At some point within the lives of most Sentai/ Ranger fans, they will admit to have owned it. Whereas, in the modern era, fans either still have the original toy, bought a replacement, or they are seeking a suitable alternative.
For those yearning to own a variation of RV Robo as a toy, this is where the Super Mini-Pla release would come in handy. RV Robo’s possible release within the Super Mini-Pla line could fill the void like Bio Robo, Jet Icarus, or Galaxy Mega did for its fans. In addition, if it was added to the Super Mini-Pla line, this would be its first highly articulated figure. Previous products normally had shoulder and head joints, or occasionally thigh swivels. However, none of those products could recreate the robot’s iconic poses during its signature attack; something fans often wanted to recreate with the various RV Robo toys.
Other reasons for a Super Mini-Pla RV Robo release mostly extend to Super Mini-Pla VRV Robo, Victorailer, and Sirender. However, the popularity of Carranger’s secondary mecha varies from robot to robot, no matter the location. Just having the main ‘giant robo’ from this series seems to be the highest concerns for most Super Sentai fans. Oddly enough, it is one of the things Super Sentai and Power Rangers fans can agree on.
2. Everything featured in Seijuu Sentai Gingaman
With how vocal our staff is about their love for either Gingaman, or its adaptation as Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, readers should have expected this to be first. However, it just falls short due to several concerning reasons. The first reason is because with Super Mini-Pla Jaguar Vulcan being a Premium Bandai release, we can immediately expect that a Super Mini-Pla GingaBitus/ Zenith Carrier would be exclusive too. The second reason is we fear that GingaBitus, along with both GingaRhinos and GingaPhoenix could ultimately be omitted from the line. Whereas, our final concern is would Bandai include the Radiant Armor, Knight Axe, and Giga optional parts as accessories within their paired releases?! So, with concerns like these anyone should see why this choice just could not be our number one pick.
Now, if we are lucky enough to witness Seijuu Sentai Gingaman join the Super Mini-Pla line, there are several options Bandai has for the mechas’ release. Gingaoh would be assured its spot at retail, and Bull Black/ Bull Taurus will most likely follow suit. Whereas, GingaRhinos and GingaPhoenix are a pair, and as such fans would prefer them as a set rather than individual releases. However, Bandai could release them in three possible ways: separately at retail, a retail combo set, or most likely as a Premium Bandai set. Then without repeating ourselves, GingaBitus is just an attack to consumers’ wallets due to its massive size. We actually assume that if there was a Super Mini-Pla GingaBitus, it would almost rival its deluxe toy counterpart. We came to this conclusion by comparing the old 5.5” figures and DX GingaBitus to their line-up as seen in the series.
Anyway, we believe that we have time before Bandai decides to include Gingaman, or another 90s Sentai in this line. Currently, Bandai seems to prefer alternating between the decades, while occasionally bouncing around within a specific one. With another Sentai series now confirmed for the line, we should assume the following one may return to the 80s. However, Bandai may decide to surprise us by proceeding past our top pick, and go further into the modern era.
1. Everything featured in Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger
The 25th anniversary of Super Sentai, Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger is a very special series for fans growing up in the late 90’s to early 2000’s. The series is best known for having turned mecha into a collectible gimmick for its product line through its various combinations. Following Gaoranger, Bandai would continue to explore how the concept of mecha would work or combine, and how to be sold as a collectible gimmick. However, it was one of the last lines to use a lot of die-cast its production between its Japanese and American releases. Whereas, its original Mini-Pla nearly replicated the deluxe toys, so they shared several details like limited articulation. Yet, fans wanted more from Gaoranger due to its variety of Power Animals, whether they were the ones on-screen or the unused concepts.
Now, for Gaoranger’s 20th anniversary, Bandai is already promoting an upcoming release for Super Mini-Pla GaoKing. This means we are one-step closer to having most of Gaoranger’s Power Animals recreated within the Super Mini-Pla line. However, we must consider how will Bandai produce the other fan favorites like GaoMuscle, GaoHunter or GaoIcarus? Currently, we assume GaoMuscle may be a retail set that consists of GaoGorilla, the Bear Twins, and GaoElephant; this is because Gorilla and the Bear Twin just replace Lion, Shark, and Tiger. Whereas, GaoElephant is a bonus for GaoKing since it doubles as a sword and shield. Then as for GaoHunter and GaoIcarus, these mecha will most likely become Premium Bandai items alongside GaoGod. Yet, we are entirely uncertain if Bandai will consider producing Super Mini-Pla Enlarged GaoLion or GaoKong. Our only suggestion would be making them alongside other toy exclusive or unmade Power Animals.
Hopefully Bandai will produce a majority of the Power Animals in the Super Mini-Pla line. We do not want to see anything being omitted, as seen with previous entries on the list. However, we do understand that it is tricky to release the Power Animals due to their massive roster. Yet, with Gaoranger being a popular series, it would be criminal for Bandai to not try releasing every possible mecha.
Ultimately all the mecha that we discussed on this list today are merely requests and predictions for future Super Mini-Pla releases. As mentioned throughout this article, with this year being Super Sentai’s 45th anniversary, Bandai has several options to work with. So, we cannot tell what Bandai may do with Super Sentai in their various product lines. We can only hope that Bandai has several surprises planned to celebrate the franchise throughout the year.
Also, we are just glad to complete this list, as several delays led to some sections being rewritten. From GoGoFive’s mecha being produced to Super Mini-Pla GaoKing being a reality, we think Bandai might be watching us. However, it is most likely that we are just getting good at predicting Bandai’s release method. Yet, whatever the case may be, Super Sentai related Super Mini-Pla are popular, and interest in them continues to grow. Hopefully, there comes a time when all Super Sentai mecha are available as Super Mini-Pla or in the Shogukan Series.
Finally, to our readers, please tell us what selections you agreed with and would like to see produced relatively soon. In addition, if your favorite mecha from this category was not included, tell us which one you would have considered. Furthermore, give us your thoughts on which Super Sentai past Gaoranger should be the first one added to the line. Nevertheless, thanks for supporting Hero-Club, and check back frequently for new updates, or follow us across social media using HeroClub4Life!